Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Don't worry, I'll be back to the roses before too long but I wanted to capture the foxgloves in our courtyard before the rain, which is apparently on it's way, destroys the effect. I know I've shown you a view before but I think they are now at their very peak, with all the flowers out.

We have a show like this every other year as foxgloves are biennial, so one year leaves grow but no flower while the next year the flowers arrive in all their glory. Which means that one year we have a few foxgloves while the next year we have a veritable forest of them. Some of them are taller than I and of course they are surrounded by bees and it's quite hard to capture the flowers in pictures without insects.
The floxglove is considered to be the flower of the fairy and you can just see how they would love to shelter in the bells but on the other side this flower is very poisonous indeed (as you can tell by its Latin name Digitalis which is a heart medicine but can be fatal in the wrong dose). In many an Agatha Christie detective the victim is killed by digitalis extract (usually administed in sherry!) which was easily produced at home, using the foxglove flowers. In the language of flowers foxgloves stand for Insincerity.
I have been re-reading many of my flower books with poems, folktales and histories of flowers and I found another lovely poem, this time celebrating the foxglove:

Deep, deep in wizardry
All the foxglove belfries stand.
Should they startle over the land,
None would know what bells they be.
Never any wind can ring them,
Nor the great black bees that swing them -
Every crimson bell, down slanted,
Is so utterly enchanted.

(Mary Webb, 1882-1927)


Ati. Norway. said...

Beautiful are they !! we have a few but the amount in your garden is fantastic!

Debby said...

Oh my gosh, what can I say, stunning. I think these are my fav...One of these days I am going to see these in real, I swear...

paru's_circle said...

never seen such lovely flowers!


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